It’s been 10 years since the Seattle SuperSonics left KeyArena and made Oklahoma City their new home.
And based on the reaction Seattle basketball fans gave Kevin Durant on Friday, it felt like the current Golden State Warrior was still a SuperSonic at heart.
The Warriors faced the Sacramento Kings in Seattle for a pre-season tilt in-front of a sell-out crowd. When Durant was announced during the pre-game introductions, Durant sported a throwback SuperSonics jersey that featured none other than the legendary Shawn Kemp.
After the roaring ovation, Durant took the PA’s microphone and addressed the Seattleites in attendance.
"I think every NBA player at this point knows that Seattle needs a basketball team," said Durant, who also shouted out the WBNA champion Seattle Storm. "It's obviously over the top of our heads, but [we'll] continue to show support for the city of Seattle. I think that's what everybody wants to do."
“And on behalf of myself, NBA, my organization and my teammates, I’d like to thank you guys for coming out and supporting us. I know it’s been a rough 10 years. NBA is back in Seattle for tonight, but hopefully, it’s not forever soon.”
In his first and only season in the Emerald City, Durant averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game and was named the 2007-08 NBA Rookie of the Year.
With an NHL team returning to Seattle in a couple of seasons, the door is open for a NBA franchise to follow suit. Gary Payton, who still holds the SuperSonics and OKC Thunder record for most points in franchise history at 18,207, was also in attendance.